Congratulations to Hawai'i's 2013 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Champion – Ikaika Ka‘ahanui
Ikaika (pronounced ee-KY-kah) is Hawaiian for “strong.” Time would tell how fitting this name would be. Only hours after birth gasping for every breath, Ikaika was rushed by ambulance to Kapi‘olani Medical Center for Women & Children. Experts would identify several conditions with the most urgent being a hole between his trachea and esophagus, a congenital defect called tracheoesophageal fistula, which would require his first of a dozen major surgeries.
Before he was 4 months old, Ikaika would need a tracheotomy tube, a permanent opening into his trachea to aid breathing, a gastrostomy tube for eating and two tiny hearing aids. The words “failure to thrive” and “medically fragile” were frightening, but Ikaika continued to be a fighter. In 2011, after 7½ years his trach was removed doubling his efforts to eat and talk like friends and family.
Now a thriving 3rd grader, he is talking and using American Sign Language when chatting with his friends at school and visits Kapi‘olani twice a week for speech and feeding therapy. Ikaika is a bright, caring and inquisitive boy who loves dinosaurs, outer space and reading about everything found in the ocean.
Every year, the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Champions program honors remarkable children who have not only triumphed despite severe medical challenges but also show great leadership and inspiration. For their courage and perseverance, these children have been selected as ambassadors to raise awareness for the 17 million kids treated every year at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
As Hawai‘i’s 2013 Children’s Miracle Network Ambassador, Ikaika will travel to Washington DC to share his story and advocate for the vital work taking place Hawai‘i’s Children’s Miracle Network Hospital.
To donate to the Kapiolani Children's Miracle Network, click here.
Contact Kapiʻolani Childrenʼs Miracle Network
Director, Kapiʻolani Childrenʼs Miracle Network
Kapiʻolani Health Foundation